SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, June 9, the Santa Monica Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information related to the arrest of several suspected arsonists.
The arson occurred on May 31 at the Sake House by Hikari, situated at 401 Santa Monica Blvd. Jake Rubin commented that he was “truly saddened by the destruction of Sake House” on the most recent Facebook post by the restaurant. Jesus Raigoza said to the establishment: “your business is on fire, sorry.”
There were three suspects photographed, of whom two wore masks and one had a scarf – or bandana – tied around their neck. Two of the suspects carried a combined total of 3 Apple iMacs, but it is unclear if these were purchased or looted.
SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud said that “Sunday, May 31st is an unforgettable moment in Santa Monica history. On that day, peaceful protestors raised their voices against the killing of George Floyd. Sadly, a much smaller group with criminal intentions caused terrible damage to our community by looting and burning.”
“In the downtown area, we quickly saw a new type of criminal activity through mass, organized looting,” Renaud continued. “It was this looting that was captured by the media.”
Several social media users have claimed that a patch on the shirt of one suspect appears to say “Allied Universal,” which is a security and facilities services company. Canyon News has contacted Allied Universal for confirmation, but did not receive a response before print.
The SMPD is asking anyone with information regarding the suspects to call Detective D. Chabot at (310) 458-2201 Ext. 6679, Sergeant C. Green at (310) 458-8414, or the Watch Commander at (310) 458-8427.